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The Basement Tapes is a live album by Bob Dylan & The Band, recorded in 1967 but only issued in 1975. Many of the songs on the album had already acquired a legendary status long before the album was officially released, albeit as bootlegs or in cover versions of The Band, The Byrds or other artists. The shooting happened just after the much discussed world tour that Bob Dylan with The Band as backing band (then called "The Hawks") undertook in 1965-1966. Relieved that the world tour was very tiring and relaxed in his home in Woodstock, New York, invited Dylan to his band to record some tracks. In total, more than hundred songs, including covers of contemporary hits, new interpretations of traditional songs and newly written material.
Critics were very full of praise for the album and climbed to seventh place in the Billboard top 200 albums. In the United Kingdom the stranded on an eighth place. The jury of the Pazz & Jop Award, consisting of only professional music critics, preferred The Basement Tapes to the best album of the year 1975. The second place went to Bob Dylan, with his solo album Blood on the Tracks.
In the mid-1960s Bob Dylan had developed one of the most celebrated artists in the world and the status acquired by innovator of pop music. Especially his artistic, intellectual lyrics spoke to an audience that formerly of electric music nothing needed to know. Are electric trilogy Bringin' It All Back Home, Highway 61 Revisited and Blonde On Blonde were great commercial successes and received great praise from critics.